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Maharey releases Work and Income papers

14 July 2000 Media Statement

Maharey releases Work and Income papers

Social Services and Employment Minister Steve Maharey today released background papers prepared for him by officials relating to the refocusing of the employment and income support functions within the Department of Work and Income.

An increased focus on employment services on the part of the Department of Work and Income was a central element of the policies that both the Government parties took to the electorate in 1999. The Government has already announced a work programme arising out of the Report of the Ministerial inquiry into the Department of Work and Income (the Hunn Report). At the core of this is a movement away from centrally controlled and determined service delivery approaches to an approach more clearly based on supporting local flexibility which provides appropriate services to meet the needs of individual clients and local labour markets.

"The Government remains committed to a fundamental change in the Department's approach. As I indicated in releasing the Government's response to the Hunn Inquiry, the significance of this proposed change will necessitate changes in the role of Regional Commissioners in their relationships with their own regions and with the national structures of the Department.

"Officials are due to report later this month on a regionalisation framework for the Department of Work and Income. Given the importance of establishing effective regional coordination arrangements I will be looking to regional stakeholders, including business, local government, and the community sector, to indicate the kinds of arrangements that they would like to see put in place.

"The papers that I am releasing today indicate the development of official thinking over the course of the year. I am confident that this work will assist in ensuring that the regionalisation process will result in the fundamental changes the Government is seeking," Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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